Jeroboam builds temples to worship Baal

1 Kings 12:25-33   King Jeroboam I of Israel (reigning from c.931 to c.911BC) fortifies Shechem to provide himself with a stronghold in the hill country of Ephraim. He also fortifies Penuel, a town across the Jordan near the River Jabbok. Jeroboam turns away from the LORD and makes golden bull calves for the people to worship Baal in new temples in Bethel and Dan so they will not need to travel to Jerusalem (in the southern rival kingdom of Judah) to worship there.

1 Kings 13:1-34   A prophet from Judah is sent by the LORD to the new pagan temple at Bethel and warns Jeroboam that a future king of Judah (King Josiah) will destroy his altar to Baal (see 2 Kings 23).

1 Kings 14:1-20   Ahijah, the prophet from Shiloh, prophesies that God will bring disaster on Jeroboam’s household because he has worshipped idols, and the people of Israel will be uprooted and scattered beyond ‘the river’ (the River Euphrates) for worshipping foreign gods. Jeroboam’s son Abijah falls ill and dies. When Jeroboam dies in c.911BC, he is succeeded by another son, Nadab, who reigns briefly from c.911 to c.910BC.

1 Kings 14:21-31   Meanwhile, King Rehoboam of Judah (who reigns from c.931 to c.914BC) also turns away from the LORD and worships foreign gods. Altars to Baal and Asherah are set up on the high places, and sacred ‘Asherah poles’ (fertility symbols representing fruit-laden branches) are erected under the shade of large trees.

Source: The Bible Journey

The River Jabbok near the site of Penuel   (Dr.Meierhofer)

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